Community permeates the entire Rule of Benedict – in the Liturgy of the Hours, at meals, at work, and in relationships. The Liturgy of the Hours, which Benedict places at the center of each day, is prayed together. In Chapter 19, Benedict wrote. “Let us stand to sing the psalms in such a way that our minds are in harmony with our voices.”
Benedict expects his followers to be present at meals. The work of the monastic is completed within the monastery and for the benefit of the community. Benedict enjoins the monastic to express relationships through respect and love.
Hospitality has long been a hallmark of Benedictine life. Benedict observed that in the monastery, there are always guests. He instructs his monks that “All guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ.”
Hospitality brings monastics out of themselves and opens the community to the neighbor and the stranger. Sister JM McClure wrote in a paper for Stella Maris University, “Benedictine hospitality goes beyond the exercise of the expected social graces – the superficial smile or the warm reception of expected guests. Hospitality for Benedict meant that everyone who comes – the poor, the traveler, the curious, those not of our religion or social standing or education – should be received with genuine acceptance.”
For 1,500 years, peace has been a motto of Benedictines. “The Bible makes justice the inseparable companion of peace (Is. 32:17; James 3:18). Both point to right and sustainable relationships in human society, the vitality of our connections with the earth, the ‘well-being’ and integrity of creation.
Peace is God’s gift to a broken but beloved world, today as in the lifetime of Jesus Christ: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.’ (John 14:27). Through the life and teachings, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we perceive peace as both promise and present—a hope for the future and a gift here and now.” (JustPeace Companion, 2nd Edition, p.2)
We seek to promote this justice and peace by looking out for the needs of the poor, disadvantaged, and marginalized as well as the care of our environment in our prayer and in our actions.